Mike Miazga 2014-07-02 03:11:57
COMPANY/ASSOCIATION/TRENDS/PEOPLE/GOVERNMENT...NEWS Importance of succession planning stressed at 2014 WANE Conference ASA Education Foundation Director of Professional Development Doug Dillon told attendees of the recent 2014 Wholesalers Association of the North East Executive Leadership Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Mass., that succession planning spans beyond simply preparing for who will take over as the leader of a particular company. “With a mid-level manager, is there someone ready to take over that seat when that person is promoted?” he said in an interview with Supply House Times during the conference. Dillon added having qualified individuals ready to take over for positions where a promotion has occurred is of key importance to a company’s health. “Most people who get promoted are really good at their jobs and have developed a high level of proficiency,” he said. “A lot of times there isn’t someone to back-fill that position right away when someone gets promoted.” Dillon suggests preparing for those promotion situations through internal training. “Look for opportunities for stretch assignments and other mentoring situations,” he said. “Let people experience what you are doing so you can tell if people have the qualifications to do what you do. Don’t be afraid to delegate and give someone else opportunities.” Dillon said the sooner a comprehensive succession plan of attack is in place, the better. “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago,” he said. “The second-best time is today. Start planning for the future today.” Dillon was one of several guest speakers at the WANE event, which also featured a well-attended mid-morning vendor showcase. To view a video of Dillon talking about succession planning, visit www.supplyht.com and click on the videos section. After lunch, Associated General Contractors of America’s Ken Simonson provided his comprehensive economic outlook. Simonson, AGC’s chief economist, noted a recent construction outlook survey shows two-thirds of respondents feel the overall construction market will improve the rest of the year and into 2015. Simonson said the explosion of shale plays in the energy sector, expansion of the Panama Canal and a revival in the residential market are three positive trends being seen in the construction industry. Conversely, he noted government pullback on schools and infrastructure construction, consumer migration from brick-and-mortar to online buying and shrinking employer office space are three trends holding down construction growth. Simonson also noted changes in consumers’ feelings about continuing education (resulting in lower college/university enrollments) and the emergence of non-traditional health-care facilities will affect education and health-care construction going forward. Simonson added single-family home growth will continue to slow down by the end of the year, while multifamily construction’s positive momentum will go into 2015. “A preference for urban living adds to the demand,” Simonson said. Simonson added the best construction prospects for 2014 include multifamily, manufacturing, oil and gas, pipelines, warehouses, lodging, rail and data centers. He also cautioned to keep an eye on the labor situation. “Widespread labor supply shortages are possible due to retirements, competition from other sectors and fewer veterans in the workforce,” he said. Author and television host/producer Louis Ferrante was the event’s featured speaker. Ferrante was a one-time mobster who spent eight years in prison and was able to successfully appeal his conviction. He talked about how the code of the mob and the values of that community can be a model for legitimate businesses. For more on Ferrante’s talk, read Editor Mike Miazga’s column on page 118. Robertson Heating Supply celebrates 80th anniversary Alliance, Ohio-based Robertson Heating Supply held a recent customer-vendor event at its 285,000-sq.-ft. facility as part of its 80th anniversary celebration. The invitation-only expo attracted about 775 people, including employees, contractors and vendors with guests coming from Ohio and western Pennsylvania.Robertson has hosted similar events for its top customers every five years since the current facility opened in 2004. About 240 contractors and 77 top vendor-suppliers attended the event.Vendor-suppliers offered special show anniversary deals. Similar expos are scheduled in August at the Cleveland Browns’ stadium and at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. Special guests included former Ohio State football coach and recently appointed president of Youngstown State University Jim Tressel and Rheem NASCAR driver James Bueschler, who appeared with his stock car. Kohler store locations acquired by Studio 41 Kohler recently announced two of its Kohler store locations in Glenview and Burr Ridge, Ill., have been acquired by Logan Square Aluminum Supply, doing business as Studio 41, an authorized Kohler plumbing distributor.Studio 41 will operate the kitchen-and-bath retail locations as distributorowned Kohler Signature stores. Studio 41 owns and operates several kitchen-and-bath showrooms in the greater Chicago area. Additionally, Studio 41 plans to open a new state-of the- art retail Kohler Signature Store at the corner of Hubbard and Orleans in Chicago in late summer 2014. The Kohler store under Kohler ownership at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago will remain open through June 30. “Both Studio 41 and Kohler share a passion for selling our products and delivering the excellent service that has made the Kohler stores the place to buy plumbing products in the greater Chicago area,” Kohler President-Kitchen & Bath Americas Hugh Ekberg said. “The quality of Studio 41’s Signature Store teams will set new benchmarks for the local market, just as we have witnessed in our other Kohler Signature Store locations. We look forward to the future together.” Milwaukee Tool acquires Empire Level Milwaukee Tool recently announced it has acquired Mukwonago, Wis.-based Empire Level. In business since 1919, Empire Level is a fully integrated solutions provider in the layout and measurement product categories. Empire is a leading U.S. manufacturer of levels, squares, layout tools and safety and utility tape. “From the invention of the Monvial to the introduction of the first Torpedo level, Empire has a strong history of innovation. We share a passion for delivering best-in-class solutions for our users,” Milwaukee Tool President Steve Richman said. “We are extremely proud to expand our portfolio with Empire Level and are committed to driving disruptive innovation and accelerated growth within the business.” New online hydronics course to be offered A new online course “Hydronic-Based Biomass Heating Systems” begins Sept. 15. The new self-paced online course was developed in partnership with HeatSpring Learning Institute and the Biomass Thermal Energy Council. Modern biomass boilers represent the forefront of renewable energy heat sources. Their high thermal efficiency can further be leveraged through the use of modern hydronics technology. This course covers the unique operating characteristics of several wood-fired boilers and shows several examples of complete systems for both residential and commercial/institutional applications. The course is a unique opportunity to learn advanced techniques and strategies from John Siegenthaler, P.E., one of the industry’s top technical trainers and a longtime contributor to Supply House Times and its sister BNP Media Plumbing Group brands. For more information on the course, please visit bit.ly/btecbiomass. Security Supply holds 12th annual training day Selkirk, N.Y.-based Security Supply recently held its 12th annual training day at its corporate headquarters. On a Saturday morning, 77 associates from 12 branches arrived to take advantage of an opportunity to strengthen knowledge and skills across a variety of topics. During these Security training sessions, manufacturers and manufacturers reps present products and answer questions, enabling associates to better serve their customers. This year’s event included manufacturers from M&G Duravent, Honeywell, Fujitsu, Moen, 3M-Cuno, Oatey and Sharkbite. Moen’s Fred Purdy and Kolstad and Fiess’ Andrew Fiess won the presenter of the year honor. Together, Purdy and Fiess provided updated knowledge on the line of Moen Commercial facuets and flush valves stocked by Security. Presenting the award were Security COO Kim Willey and Vice President of Operations Brian Fowler. Crawford Supply acquires Community Home Supply Chicago-based Crawford Supply recently announced it acquired Community Home Supply in an asset transaction. Community Home Supply was founded in 1938 when its first showroom on Lincoln Ave. In Chicago was built. That showroom continues to operate today along with a second showroom located across from Chicago Merchandise Mart. Post-acquisition, all Community Home Supply locations will operate as Crawford Supply, expanding the company to six Illinois-based locations. “Community Home Supply has been an icon of the decorative plumbing and hardware business for more than 70 years,” Crawford Supply CEO Steve Feiger said. “We look forward to expanding our Chicagoland presence and taking care of our growing customer base.” RPA to hold annual meeting at AHR Expo The Radiant Professionals Alliance announced it will hold its annual meeting and conference in conjunction with the 2015 AHR Expo in Chicago Jan. 26-28, 2015, and will significantly expand its overall presence at the world’s largest HVACR event. In addition to relocating its meeting and conference to AHR Expo, RPA will develop a training and education program and host a booth on the show floor. Hundreds of radiant professionals are expected to attend RPA’s annual meeting and conference Tuesday, Jan. 27 at McCormick Place. RPA also will hold its board meeting on Sunday, Jan. 25 in Chicago, a day before the opening of AHR Expo. For more information on RPA, visit www.radiantprofessionalsalliance.org. For more on AHR Expo, visit www.ahrexpo.com. Correction In the recently published 2014 Supply House Times’ Premier 150 rankings, two companies were inadvertently duplicated (Bakersfield Pipe and Supply and M&M Supply).Those duplications caused the omission of The Tap of Kansas (Wichita, Kan.)And Flemington (N.J.) Supply from this year’s Premier 150 list. Supply House Times regrets the error. INDUSTRY NOTES Laufen, the producers and designers of contemporary ceramic vanities and bath products, recently announced it has joined the LPG (Luxury Products Group) buying group. Mansfield Plumbing Products recently announced its increased dedication to Made in America manufacturing will result in new benefits to customers. The company will now produce more than 90% of its product volume in the U.S., increasing its Perrysville, Ohio plant capacity by one million pieces. Decorative plumbing products manufacturer JACLO recently launched its digital catalog, a new way to showcase all its collections. This marks the company’s latest move to make its products more accessible to consumers and designers alike. ProVent Systems President/CEO Ken Cornwall recently received an honorary doctor of business degree from Upland, Ind.-based Taylor University. The honor featured Cornwall’s 42 U.S. patents, all involved with new plumbing products that ProVent Systems sells throughout the world. Lee Brass recently appointed Dallas-based Stan Roberts & Associates as a manufacturers rep in the Texas and Oklahoma territories and Norcross, Ga.-based Spotswood, Cotton and Welsh as a rep in the state of Georgia. Lee also named Larry Waldron national sales manager for plumbing, industrial and marine products, and appointed Bill Kimpton national OEM sales manager. TRUaire, a register and grille manufacturer, recently announced its new vendor partnership with distribution cooperative BLUE HAWK.
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